A Taylor trip to never forget! With 34 enthusiastic HTE students, beautiful weather and many great places and companies to visit, Italy was this year’s location for our annual study trip.
Lyon and Turin
After an early departure from Delft, the journey started in the direction of Lyon. A day of card games, reading, watching movies and nice talks flew by and we arrived in Lyon around dinner time. A quick pit stop at the hotel to dump our bags at the hotel and we quickly made our way into the city center for some brief sightseeing and food. The next morning we grabbed some breakfast and lunch and then it was time to go back into the bus for our first Italian city. A beautiful drive through the mountains took us to Turin. In Turin, we found out that it was going to be really hot in Italy. After some initial sightseeing, we met up to have our first group dinner. On Monday we visited Comau. This company specializes in automation and human-robot interaction. In a demo room, we had a look at their newest robotic arms that are human-friendly in a way that they adjust their behaviour if humans are nearby. We also tried their mechanical exoskeleton but unfortunately, they would not let us take it with us. In the afternoon we spend the rest of the day in the city.
After Turin, we had four days filled with activities in and around Milan. With a hostel in the middle of the city, it was possible to easily visit all types of museums, churches and shopping places. We made a day trip to the beautiful Maranello to visit the even more beautiful company of Ferrari. At Ferrari, we got a glimpse of the most luxurious cars in the world and we got the chance to speak to an employee about what it’s like to work for this prestigious company. A visit to the Politecnico di Milano was planned for the next day and consisted of a very interesting tour around the faculty of mechanical engineering and aerospace.
To complete the stay in Milan we first went to the company D-Orbit, which specialized in aerospace. We enjoyed a tour passing their facilities including the cleanroom and control room. Finally, we went to another place for motorsport enthusiasts, Monza Autodrome! Here we got a tour around the paddock, parts of the circuit and to top it all off the podium!
Ready to race to the next location.
Saturday morning we drove to Angera, where we spontaneously cooled down on Lake Maggiore. The water temperature was perfect and we were now ready to check in at the hotel. We prepared ourselves to visit the large castle at the top of Angera; Rocca di Angera. Rocca di Angera is one of the few fortified medieval buildings still preserved in its entirety and dates back to the 1100s. Its grand architecture, 360-degree view, and private vineyard made this an incredible site to see. From Rocca di Angera you could walk to Ristorante Hotel Lido where we had a four-course dinner with a view over Lake Maggiore. The new board members had prepared an awesome pub quiz at the lake to complete this day. The next day was free and some took the opportunity to go on a boat trip or relax at the lake. The next morning we continued our journey toward Zurich.
Zurich and Basel
After a refreshing break in Angera, we journeyed onwards past this Swiss border into Zurich. The bus dropped us directly at Albert Einstein’s Alma Mater, ETH Zurich. Here we were welcomed by a rich history of scientific discovery and beautiful architecture mixed with an enthusiastic youthful exuberance for research. An extremely well organized tour (by splitting the group into sub-groups) gave us a chance to understand the various research projects going on at ETH and to discover the facilities available to students of Mechanical Engineering (which were very impressive to say the least). On bidding goodbye to our lovely hosts, we carried on to Basel to spend the night. The trip had been enjoyable, but everyone was also quite happy to have escaped Italy’s hottest summer on record. Basel proved to be the best final destination with its mild weather and relaxing swimming opportunities. Most of us happily floated down the Rhine multiple times and found ourselves quite relaxed to end our trip. One final group activity, a boat ride tour from the Swiss-German-French border point to the other end of Basel, rounded off a great trip with one last get-together that night before the long ride back to Delft the next day.